Recycle Lithium Batteries

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Where To Recycle Lithium Batteries

Can lithium batteries be recycled? Yes! Currently, less than 5% of all Lithium-ion batteries are being recycled.

Ship your batteries:






Find a location near you:

Staples

Home Depot

Best Buy

Send directly to a recycler:


USA


American Battery Technology
(News) - (Videos) - (Facebook) - (Reddit)

(News) - (Videos)
Redwood Materials
(News) - (Videos)

Canada


Li-Cycle
(News) - (Videos)
Lithion
(News) - (Videos)

China


CATL
(News)

Europe


Fortum
Primobius
(News)
ReLib
(News) - (Videos)
Umicore
(News) - (Videos)

Germany


Volkswagen Group Components

Mexico


GangFeng Lithium
(News)

Singapore


Green Li-Ion
(News) - (Videos)

Sweden


Northvolt
(News) - (Videos)

Why You Should Recycle Lithium Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are used in cell phones, computers, power tools, toys, appliances, electrical vehicles and storage systems. If they are not properly disposed of at the end of their life, they can cause harm to the environment or even catch fire.

Circular Economy
Recycling lithium batteries offers a solution to the problem and the materials can be recovered and re-used to make new batteries. This can be accomplished time and again so the material never has to be mined from the Earth again. At some point, mining Lithium will no longer be necessary so long as the products are continually recycled.

Critical Materials
Battery metals such as Lithium, Cobalt and Graphite are critical raw materials and are strategically important to the United States as there is a high risk of supply disruptions from other Countries. As we strive for energy independence, recycling lithium batteries is a high priority for the safety of our supply chain.

Caution
If a battery or electronic device is disposed of in the trash or placed in a municipal recycling bin with other materials, it could be damaged or crushed in transport or within processing and sorting equipment which could create a fire hazard. Therefore, all lithium-ion batteries should be recycled at a certified recycler that accepts batteries rather than discarded in the trash.

Facility Fires
A fire broke out last June just outside of Chicago in an empty paper mill. Firefighters discovered that the warehouse contained 100 tons of lithium batteries. Nearby residents were evacuated for air-quality issues and it took nearly a week to put out the fire. Water and foam could not be used as they would have accelerated the fires and caused further environmental damage. Eventually, Portland cement was used to smother the fire. The EPA found 25 tons of damaged, and defective lithium-ion batteries.

Future Growth
Lithium batteries are required to operate electric vehicles, renewable energy projects and anything mobile like cell phones and power tools. President Biden has encouraged industry to produce electric fleets and so far all major automakers have fallen in line and have announced their goals to meet internal deadlines. Half of all new cars and trucks will be electric in 15 years and each vehicle will contain at least 150 pounds of lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese. Production of the required metals will increase by 5 to 10x in the next ten years.

Child Labor Issues
Large amounts of water and energy are required to mine lithium and 70 percent of the global supply of cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Up to 30 percent of mining operations are very small and routinely ignore child safety standards within their mining operations.

National Security
China heavily subsidizes their EV sector and the concerns for our national security are inherently at risk as our commercial and national defense markets heavily rely on battery technology. Domestic production and reliable supply chains is crucial as China controls over 70 percent of the global lithium supply. Afghanistan is another Country rich in Lithium but they have been taken over by the Taliban.

Domestic Supply
Making our supply of the battery metals from domestic and local sources are important to our national security as we will be less reliant on other Countries to supply our needs. Liberals and Conservatives fully agree on this issue and as we move forward with the adoption of EV, local sourcing becomes imperative.

End Mining
Mining on Thacker Pass will most likely move forward even though some environmentalists have raised concerns. The production of EVs over the next 10 years will require it. As those models come to the scrap piles is when recycling will truly shine. Recovering the materials and placing them back into the economy means no more mining at some point in time.

Renewable Energy
This circular economy by using battery metals over and over again is crucial to our energy independence. It will also help us reach our greenhouse gas emission goals especially if EV users also place rooftop solar systems on their homes to self-produce the power from the sun which is a renewable source of energy.

Over $1.5 Billion Raised to Recycle Lithium Batteries in North America

2021 has been a banner year with over $1.5 Billion in investments to recycle lithium batteries!

Here is the break down:

$580 Million to Li-Cycle when they merged with PDAC
$100 Million to Li-Cycle from Koch
$700 Million raised by Redwood Materials
$50 Million injected to Redwood Materials by Ford
$70 Million raised by Battery Resourcers
$39.1 Million raised by American Battery Technology Company

It is now official - industry has embraced the idea that lithium-ion batteries can and will be recycled back into feedstock to build new batteries. Ford Motor Company has chosen to work with Redwood Materials, General Motors has partnered with Li-Cycle and Honda has paired with Battery Resourcers. The service providers have facilities in operation today and have been infused with fresh capital to help them meet the growing demand. The companies have a combined new investment of over $1.5 Billion to build out new facilities and support business growth.

Taking waste materials from the manufacturing process as well as capturing end-of-life batteries makes financial and environmental sense. Due to the high cost and impact of mining new material, recycling batteries to make new batteries provides an economical way to recapture battery metals into their purest forms while diverting the products from our landfills.

Battery recycling also assists with an expected shortage of raw materials over the next decade coupled with the need to provide a domestic supply of lithium. Policy is being formed to support the industry which will cement the trajectory of the initiatives so that the entire electric vehicle automotive industry will be required to recycle all of their waste.

Several other companies are moving forward with their plans to recycle lithium batteries and it is assumed that there will be such a shortage of material that all companies will have no problem finding buyers of the refined products once produced.

American Battery Technology Company is breaking ground on their new construction pilot facility in Fernley, Nevada. Other companies have established technology hubs to test their processes and plan to build out as well.

Investors are valuing these companies in multiple billions of dollars as the value of Lithium is extremely high. Some automakers are handling recycling in-house - such as Tesla and Volkswagen while others will partner with service providers. For example, Ford invested $50 million into Redwood Materials as part of their partnership - proof of the need for their service as a partner.

Investors are searching for opportunities to get in early - and there are several companies that trade their stock on public markets. While most are still "penny" stocks, (such as ABML, AMYZF, SXOOF and LODE). Li-Cycle recently went public via a SPAC. They trade as LICY. (I have traded in and out of several of these companies). The stocks have experienced wild price swings as most do not have operational plants and revenue yet. LICY has operational revenue.

Environmentally speaking, Li-Cycle and American Battery Metals Corporation seem to have a better mousetrap as they process their battery material in a non-thermal fashion whereas all other known companies use a thermal smelting process. Because of this, there are fewer air emissions and less material shrinkage as smelting can burn off products.

How To Recycle Lithium Batteries

Recycling of li ion batteries: Your battery should be immediately recycled when it fails as there is a risk to storing it for long periods of time. The batteries should not be discarded into the garbage as chemicals can break down and leach into the waste water streams produced at the landfill. The only way to recycle lithium batteries is to drop off or ship the battery to a certified recycling center where they separate and recover the metals and plastics for re-entry into the economy.

The EPA recommends a few handling precautions of end of life lithium batteries to get them ready for recycling. Place each battery or device containing a battery in a separate plastic bag. Place non-conductive tape such as electrical tape over the battery terminals. If the battery is damaged, contact the battery or device manufacturer for specific handling instructions.

How to Dispose of Lithium-ion Batteries

Battery Recyclers of America

Battery Solutions

GlobalTech Environmental

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Copyright 2021, Daniel Wells. Find out more about Daniel on his website: cmxi.org